Which Roller Coaster and Rides has the biggest drops

Orlando’s big drop Roller Coaster and Rides

From exciting roller coaster, drenching water rides and unique drop towers, you’ll find dozens of ways to get your adrenaline pumping as Orlando’s theme parks are home to some of the most exhilarating thrill rides around.!

Splash Mountain roller coaster at Magic Kingdom

With a drop of only 50 feet, Splash Mountain certainly has the shortest drop on our list, but it is one of the most beloved flume rides in existence. With hundreds of animated characters and a fun story, riders love Splash Mountain for more than just the drop. And even at only 50 feet, don’t underestimate the thrill of reaching 40 mph while dropping head-first into the briar patch with Br’er Rabbit.

Jurassic Park River Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Board your raft and prepare to explore the gentle giants that roam Jurassic Park. Of course, as is always the case, something goes wrong and the dinosaurs escape, sending your boat off course. Next thing you know, you find yourself face to face with a T-Rex, before the floor falls out beneath you. Your boat falls down an 85-foot drop reaching a speed of 50 mph, before splashing down into the water below.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster roller coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Feel the power of the Hulk as you’re catapulted from 0 to 40 mph in 2 seconds, sending you 150 feet into the air, and then into a weightless zero-gravity roll. Feel your adrenaline pumping as you race up to 67 mph, and drop down 105 feet on this high-speed superhero-themed roller coaster.

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Prepare to be shot straight up 185 feet, only to freefall back down 151 feet immediately after on Doctor Doom’s Fearfall inside of Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure. That initial launch up propels you with more thrust than a 747 jet, hitting you with more G-force than a space shuttle. Sound frightening? That’s exactly what Doctor Doom is counting on.

Kraken Unleashed roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando

Prepare for excitement as you climb up nearly 150 feet on the chain lift hill of this floorless roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando. Based on the mythological creature, Kraken Unleashed drops you 144 feet at a speed of 65 mph. Then it twists and inverts you along a 4,000-foot long track, never letting you catch your breath – because, after all, you’re in the clutches of the Kraken.

Mako roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando

Mako is the newest extreme roller coaster in Orlando, and Central Florida’s first “hyper coaster.” The first drop on this ride packs a punch, with a height of 200 feet and a top speed of 73 mph. One of the best features of this attraction named after one of the ocean’s fastest sharks, is all of the air-time moments. That’s when you feel like you’re weightless, and start to come out of your seat a little. You really feel like you’re flying when you’re gliding along on Mako.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Unlike any other drop-tower attraction around, the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes you on a strange journey through the fourth dimension, and into The Twilight Zone. After experiencing a close encounter with the ghosts that haunt the old hotel, you enter the old elevator shaft that was once struck by lightning. With randomized drop profiles, you can never be sure how many times the tower may drop you, but you can be certain of one thing – there will be at least one full 130 foot drop, where you fall 13 stories at a speed faster than gravity.

Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit roller coaster at Universal Orlando Resort

You get to pick a song for your roller coaster experience on this unique ride inside of Universal Studios Florida. The music starts thumping as your heart rate starts pumping because this ride starts with a 90-degree lift hill that sends you straight down 167 feet right out of the gate. You’ll reach 65 mph and head into an exhilarating non-inverted loop. And all of that is just in the first few seconds of the ride!

SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa

Also at Busch Gardens Tampa, the SkeiKra dive coaster is a unique roller coaster sporting a floorless design, allowing your feet to dangle beneath you. It’s most surprising feature however, is that just before the first massive drop, the coaster train stops for a few seconds, allowing you to look straight down at the 90 degree spill you’re about to take. The fall is 200 feet and you reach speeds of 70 mph almost instantly as soon as you start to fall. As if that weren’t enough, the coaster then takes you into an Immelmann loop, and then onto a second drop into an underground tunnel. It’s an action-packed experience that coaster fans don’t want to miss.

Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

By far the tallest attraction on our list, Falcon’s Fury is a freestanding drop tower that takes riders up 300 feet before dropping them down, face-first, towards the ground. As you rise up to the top, a trip that takes about a minute to complete, you get an incredible view of downtown Tampa and miles beyond. Then the ride system pivots your seat 90 degrees midair, so you’re facing the ground as it sends you soaring straight down at 60 mph. This roller coaster is only the for absolute bravest riders in your group.

 

Family Friendly Coasters in Orlando

Family friendly coasters 

When it comes to roller coasters, thrill seekers come in all ages and sizes. That’s why Orlando’s theme parks have rides for everyone, every speed and every style. For all of the gravity-defying rides for the fearless riders, there are also plenty of amusing rides that spin and soar while promising fantastic fun for all heights and ages in Orlando.

Universal Orlando Resort Family friendly Coasters

Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster

What happens when you let a wacky woodpecker design and build his very own roller coaster? You get a nuthouse on wheels, as seen at Universal Studios Florida! Woody definitely proved he’s got a few screws loose when he designed this kid-sized coaster that’s fun for all ages. Height requirement: 36 in (91cm)

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Find yourself in the middle of the magic as you enter Gringotts bank at Universal Studios Florida’s Diagon Alley. You’ll need the whole family to help navigate the perilous underground vaults on this coaster and evade the wrath of malicious villains, as well as trolls and other creatures that stand between you and your return to Diagon Alley. Height requirement: 42 in (107cm)

Flight of the Hippogriff

The story comes to life on this family-friendly coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure’s Hogsmeade. Follow Hagrid’s instructions as you board the hippogriff, and then take off into spirals and dives around the pumpkin patch and Hagrid’s hut. Height requirement: 36 in (91cm)

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Find yourself in the middle of the magic as you enter Gringotts bank at Universal Studios Florida’s Diagon Alley. You’ll need the whole family to help navigate the perilous underground vaults and evade the wrath of malicious villains, as well as trolls and other creatures that stand between you and your return to Diagon Alley. Height requirement: 42 in (107cm)

Walt Disney World Resort

Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Careen through the Himalayan mountains on a speeding train on this coaster while avoiding the clutches of the mythic Abominable Snowman at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Height requirement: 44 in (112cm)

Space Mountain

Families journey through the cosmos on Space Mountain’s galactic adventure at the Magic Kingdom. Whiz past shooting stars and celestial satellites during this space ride. Streak past orbs of light, wayward comets and migrant meteors as gravity pushes and pulls you through the wormhole. Height requirement: 44 in (112cm)

Barnstormer Starring The Great Goofini

Families can take flight above Storybook Circus at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with Goofy and his homemade stunt airplanes for a thrilling coaster ride. Hang on tight as The Great Goofini swoops and soars during his world-famous high-flying show. Height requirement: 35 in (89cm)

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Grab your lantern and your map and ride into the diamond mine on the rockingest, rollingest, twistiest train ride ever. Feel a rush of excitement, and enchantment too, as you take off on this adventurous family coaster at the Magic Kingdom. Height requirement: 38 in (97cm)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

All aboard this family-friendly ride in the Magic Kingdom’s wilderness! Dash in and out of desert caverns and rumble through a haunted mine aboard a rollicking runaway train. Swoop around turns, dip, and drop into canyons and caves as you dart through the ghost town of Tumbleweed. Height requirement: 40 in (102cm) 

LEGOLAND Florida Resort Family Friendly Coasters

The Dragon

Climb aboard the LEGO Dragon and prepare for a hilarious, behind-the-scenes view of life within the enchanted LEGOLAND Castle. Height requirement: 40 in (102cm)

Flying School

Experience the thrill of flight on this suspended, family-friendly coaster. Rise stories into the air before being released onto the track. Height requirement: 44 in (112cm)

Coastersaurus

Fun for the whole family and perfect for little ones, this wooden coaster curves and dips in and around a prehistoric jungle of animated and life-sized LEGO brick dinosaurs. Height requirement: 42 in (107cm)

The Great LEGO Race

Having opened in 2018, this is the first virtual-reality roller coaster designed just for kids. Height requirement: 42 in (107cm)

Fun Spot America in Orlando

White Lightning

Experience the dips and drops of White Lightning! This wooden coaster is fun for the whole family. Height requirement 46 in (117cm)

Freedom Flyer

Throw your hands in the air and let your legs dangle on the twists and turns of Freedom Flyer. The whole family will feel a thrill on the swoops, twists and turns. Height requirement: 36 in (91cm)

SeaWorld Orlando Family Friendly Coasters

Journey to Atlantis

This exciting, family-friendly flume/coaster ride has more than its share of surprises. Explore dark, watery passageways through the sunken city before being plunged from its gates into the waters below. Height requirement:42 in (107cm)

Shamu Express

Introduce young adventurers to the excitement and fun of coaster rides with kid-sized thrills provided by one of the smaller members of the Shamu family. Height requirement 38 in (97cm)

 

Disney World – Did you know?

Things you can do at Disney World you probably didn’t know!

There are many things to enjoy at Walt Disney World that guests may never experience or even know about.  It can be hard to see beyond the park touring, dining, and FastPass planning, and families don’t often have time to do more than scratch the surface of what Walt Disney World has to offer.  Curious about some of these “extras?” From on-the-go food tips to exotic experiences, here are some things that you can do at Walt Disney World that you may not have tried. Which one will you go for on your next trip?

Get a haircut in the Magic Kingdom Disney World

Have you walked down Main Street Disney World many times and never noticed the Barber Shop?  It’s located between the fire station and the Emporium on the left side of the street.  How charming is the idea of having your child’s first haircut in the Main Street Barber Shop?  You can do just that (and get a special mouse ear hat commemorating the experience, to boot) at a very reasonable price.  Adults and children alike can enjoy the services, ranging from a quick bang trim, a full haircut, or even some styling with “pixie dust” (glitter).  There are only 3 chairs in the shop, so be sure to make a reservation in advance. However, you might be surprised to find walk-in availability as well.  If you love to watch the afternoon parade, consider an appointment during that time. The parade route ends just next to the barber shop, so you’ll be able to enjoy the parade through the shop’s window!

Disney World non-princess makeover

Makeovers at Walt Disney World are not just for little ones who want to be princesses anymore!  Now you can treat your little boy or girl to a pirate or mermaid-themed makeover at The Pirates League in the Magic Kingdom.  The packages range from under $20 to nearly $100 and include anything from simple makeup and accessories to more elaborate makeup, hair, and costuming.  Looking for another great alternative for a young prince? Try the Knight package at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, with locations at both at the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs.

Play golf

Did you know that you can play golf on your Walt Disney World vacation?  Disney boasts 4 golf courses on property, three of which are 18-hole championship courses.  For more of a family experience, consider the 9-hole walking course that even features footgolf.

FastPass your food at Disney World

Have you tried Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering?  It’s sort of like a FastPass- for your food. Mobile ordering makes it more convenient to order, pay for, and pick up your food throughout Walt Disney World.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you must! It’s a huge timesaver and takes the stress out of wrangling orders from your family in a crowded food queue. Simply open the My Disney Experience app and tap “Order Food” to get started.  You may be surprised at how many quick service locations are available! Select your food from wherever you are (exiting a ride, for instance) and then check in when you have arrived at the restaurant. Your food will be prepared fresh when you arrive for you to pick up at a designated pick-up queue location.

Go fishing from a Disney World Marina

Love to fish? Enjoy a catch-and-release fishing excursion from many of Walt Disney World’s marinas.  Prefer fishing from land? You can rent fishing gear at Port Orleans Resort- Riverside and enjoy dockside fishing.

Disney World – Explore the utilidors

The Utilidors are a series of passageways beneath the Magic Kingdom; “in-character” cast members use them to travel across the park unseen.  They’re also used for a variety of other things, ranging from security to trash removal. If you’re keen on checking them out yourself, you’ll be happy to know that you can visit them as part of the Keys to the Kingdom Tour.  This add-on tour experience features some unique backstage looks at the park, and is reserved for guests ages 16 and older.

Get to know Epcot’s sealife

Now you know you can go fishing at Walt Disney World, but did you know you can take your aquatic adventures up a notch and actually interact with dolphins at Epcot?  The Dolphins in Depth experience takes place at the Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion and includes a backstage look at how the dolphins are cared for, as well as time to interact with the dolphins in the water.  Looking to explore the many other creatures in the massive Seas saltwater aquarium? Consider snorkeling in the Epcot Seas Aqua Tour. Guests who are scuba certified can also dive in the same spaces as part of the DiveQuest experience- you may notice people participating in this event when you dine at the Coral Reef restaurant!

 

 

Ways to explore Orlando

Ways to explore Orlando

SunRail – travel the tracks, a great way to explore Orlando

Orlando’s commuter rail service is a fun, easy and affordable way to explore Orlando and Central Florida. Running from Poinciana in the south, about 20 minutes from Walt Disney World, to DeBary in the north, about 30 minutes from downtown Orlando, SunRail usually operates Monday through Friday, although limited weekend service is offered during major events. Southbound service is available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., with northbound trains running from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. One-way tickets start at $2 per passenger, and round-trip tickets can be had for as little as $3.75.

Royal Palm Railway Experience – a scenic way to explore Orlando

Located in Tavares, about 50 minutes north of downtown Orlando, Royal Palm offers scenic day excursions to nearby Mount Dora and Eustis, recreating the experience of 1950s rail travel along the way. They also operate The Polar Express Train Ride during the holidays, as well as the Rails & Ales Brew Train. Pricing starts as low as $10 per passenger for the regular routes.

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour – a relaxing way to explore Orlando

Noted for acclaimed dining and shopping, a high concentration of museums and galleries, and tree-lined, cobblestoned streets, Winter Park is one of Central Florida’s most gorgeous communities — but you can only see half of its beauty by land so another way to explore Orlando is by boat. Priced at just $15 for adults and $8 for kids, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour will take you “behind the scenes” for a breath taking, relaxing look at the city’s pristine waterways, as well as the multimillion-dollar mansions that dot the shorelines.

Airboat & Kayak Tours – an adventurous way to explore Orlando

You can explore the headwaters of the Florida Everglades and other beautiful Central Florida waterways with airboat tour operators throughout the area. In Orlando, they include Airboat Rides at Midway, and Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, Kissimmee Swamp Tours, Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides, and Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park all operate out of Kissimmee close to Walt Disney World.

For a slower-paced water adventure where you can really take in the scenery (and get a workout while you’re at it), opt for a kayak tour with Central Florida Nature Adventures and other local operators.

 I-Ride Trolley – a great hop on hop off way to explore Orlando

Between attractions, dining, shopping and entertainment, you could easily spend an entire vacation just exploring Orlando’s International Drive area — especially when you let the I-Ride Trolley do the driving! More transportation than tour, this service runs through our main tourism district from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. It’s also highly affordable, with a one-day pass priced at just $5 and deep discounts on multiday passes.

Florida Dolphin Tours & Transportation – a great sight seeing way to explore Orlando

With more than 23 years of experience and partnership with the worldwide City Sightseeing Tours organization, Florida Dolphin Tours & Transportation is a name you can trust when it comes to touring and is a great way to explore Orlando and other points of interest throughout Central Florida. For starters, they operate an eight-hour “City of Orlando” tour that focuses on areas away from the theme parks, including downtown Orlando and Winter Park, priced at $50

They also offer express shuttles to Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, with pickup and drop-off locations throughout the International Drive area, plus shopping excursions, dolphin swim tours, trips to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complexon Florida’s east coast, and more. Shuttle services start at $10 per guest, and pricing for other tours varies by package.

Hop On! Central Florida Brew Tours

Beer-lovers won’t want to miss this way to explore Orlando, which ferries up to 12 passengers to some of the most popular microbreweries in the Orlando area. They offer a trio of four-hour routes, each priced at $40 per passenger, that visit four different breweries, including those in downtown Orlando, Winter Park and Seminole County. Private tours are also available, as is a “Ticket and Pregame” package for Orlando City Soccer Club home games.

Gray Line of Orlando & Gator Tours of Orlando

Founded as Gator Tours of Orlando in 1993, this company’s expertise and impeccable service attracted the attention of global tour operator Gray Line, which became an official partner in 2006. They offer a way to explore Orlando starting at $70 per passenger, as well as daily trips to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, beach and boat tours, eco tours, and fun evening activities for the whole family.

SwampBike Pub Crawl –a different way to explore Orlando

Put the pedal to the metal with SwampBike Pub Crawl, a one-of-a-kind pedicab service that tours popular watering holes in and around Orlando’s International Drive area. What makes it stand out is that six of the SwampBike’s 15 passenger seats are equipped with working pedals, so you won’t have to skip leg day while enjoying some of the best adult beverages in Orlando. Lasting approximately two hours, public tours cost $20 per person, and private tours are available for $250.

Redi Pedi Cab Company

Part of International Drive’s landscape since 2006, this pedicab operator offers three different, one-hour excursions to explore Orlando, which respectively focus on I-Drive’s most famous landmarks, historic selfie locations, and the best places to play Pokémon Go. All three cost $60.00 plus gratuity, with a maximum of two passengers per pedicab.

* Prices accurate at time of publishing

 

 

 

 

 

Orlando Activities to visit other than the theme parks

Many people don’t know what to do if they’re looking for something beyond the pricey Disney attractions. Here are some ideas for other Orlando activities to visit on International Drive

Image result for international drive attractions

International Drive is a good place for things to do in Orlando. It’s an 11 mile stretch of roadway that serves as a highly popular tourist district for the city. Here you’ll find attractions that appeal to the whole family – from amusement parks to the largest observation wheel on the east coast.

 Escape Game

The Escape Game is a live 60-minute adventure. You and your team will select a challenge and will have one hour to complete your mission and escape. Up to 8 players will be challenged in this Escape Game by working together to find clues, solve puzzles, and unlock locks that will free them from the game room

I-Drive NASCAR Kart Racing – One of the fastest track paced Orlando attractions

This is the first upscale indoor kart racing facility. Featuring high performance electric go-karts inside a 65,000 sq ft. State-of-the-art climate controlled facility. It also offers bowling, gaming and a full-service restaurant/bar.

Madame Tussauds at ICON Orlando 360- One of the great Orlando tourist attractions

See life-size figures of your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussauds. Dazzle your friends with the ultimate selfie because this is the place to SEE the stars & BE the star.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – Yes believe that this is one of the most unusual Orlando activities

Come and escape the normal! Browse hundreds of bizarre and uncanny artefacts. With 16 themed galleries with over 600 extraordinary artefacts and exciting interactive exhibits at this unique attraction. This is a Wacky, wild, and interactive family fun activity for all ages.

 SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium at ICON Orlando 360

SEA LIFE Orlando offers a wave of underwater adventures with species from the oceans of the world and is one of the great visual aquatic Orlando tourist attractions. Be immersed in an aquatic adventure as you explore the world’s oceans. This is an attraction that offers an exceptional experience for young families, as there are numerous interactive displays, kid-level viewing and a hands-on rock pool.

VR Territory Orlando

Be completely immersed within vibrant worlds beyond your imagination. Choose from over 30 games to play with stunning graphics making it feel so real and surreal simultaneously. At VR Territory Orlando Florida you can walk, run, sit and strafe with 360-degree freedom of movement allowing you to have full control without restraints.

WonderWorks

This upside down house is an amusement park for the mind with over 100 interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages and is one of the crazier Orlando attractions. It combines education and entertainment with more than 100 hands on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark the imagination. Special features of the attraction include a 4D extreme motion ride, 3 story indoor ropes challenge course, lazer-tag and a nightly magic comedy dinner show.

Fun Spot America – Orlando activities for all the family

Entertainment for the whole family at this old fashioned funfair with Orlando Florida’s only wooden roller coaster, multi-level go-kart tracks that will provide a one of a kind riding experience, the World’s 2nd tallest SkyCoaster at 250 ft, a 101-foot high Ferris wheel, bumper cars, bumper boats, and of course, a giant arcade with 180 exciting games ranging from the Classics to State-of-the-Art. Kid’s Spot rides are smaller, gentler versions of the adult ones and geared for children ages 2-6 years old.. There is also Gator Spot, a 15,000 sq ft oasis with over 100 gators, exotic reptiles and birds!

 Titanic the Artefact Exhibition – One of historical things to do in Orlando  

 You can explore on your own, or have the full experience of the guided tour. Dressed up as a former passenger of the Titanic, your guide leads the way through the exhibits and tells stories about what life was like on the ship before it sank in 1912. These are real stories of real passengers and there are actual artefacts from the ship itself featuring full-scale recreations of famous parts of the ship, including the Grand Staircase, the First Class Parlor Suite and the Promenade Deck,

Zombie Outbreak – One of the more live action packed Orlando activities

This is a live action, interactive, zombie hunting experience. You’re provided with a real machine like gun zombie and you and your team aim to clear out a military research facility and save Orlando Florida from a very bad day. Actors portray zombies and they’re around every corner watching, reaching, and lurking. Dark, urban setting, and props increased the suspense.

 

 

 

Disney Springs one of the great Orlando tourist attractions

Disney Springs (which was known as Downtown Disney up until September of 2015) is a shopping, entertainment area and mall and is one of the Orlando tourist attractions located outside of the Walt Disney Parks. It is free to enter and has enough Disney magic to still feel like you are still inside the Disney parks.

Disney Springs one of the free things to do in Orlando is divided into 4 main areas, each with its own unique style, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment offerings. The Marketplace (the main shopping area) The Landing (an area along the waterfront and with many more restaurants) Town Centre (more shopping) West Side (more restaurants)

THE LANDING

The Landing now houses several new restaurants with beautiful waterfront views and a handful of new buildings that have been creatively Imagineered to look like they’ve been there for years.

WEST SIDE

This area was part of Downtown Disney and also a part of Disney Springs. The newly re-imagined West Side has a more industrial aspect to it and includes several popular restaurants and entertainment offerings including a bowling alley and movie theatre.

TOWN CENTER – one of the new Orlando tourist attractions

Town Center (a new area which was not a part of Downtown Disney) is themed after Florida’s turn-of-the-century waterfront towns and includes over 30 shops and a variety of dining options.

MARKETPLACE

This family-friendly area (which existed as a part of Downtown Disney) is home to many of the most popular shops at Disney Springs.

With the transition, an expansion of The World of Disney store has been completed to this section as well as a new “Village Causeway” which is a bridge that connects the area around The Lego Store across the water to nearby The Rainforest Cafe.

Amazing Orlando tourist attractions at Disney Springs include:

The Lego Store – One of the free things to do in Orlando

This is a gigantic store with lots of wonderful Lego and gigantic Lego sculptures such as the Loch Ness monster, a fire breathing dragon and the characters from Toy Story.

World’s biggest Disney Store ‘World of Disney’ 

Officially the largest Disney merchandise Orlando tourist attractions store in the world with 12 different rooms filled with everything Disney related.

Boat cruisesOne of the free things to do in Orlando

There are two main ‘routes’ that the boats take. One heads around 3 stops in Disney Springs. The other route goes to Disney resorts and then back to Disney Springs. Each cruise takes about 20 minutes return and are free of charge.

‘Characters in Flight’ balloon ride

This balloon is tethered to the ground. It soars 400 feet in the air and was custom built for Disney!

T Rex Restaurant and shopOne of the free things to do in Orlando

Almost like a mini museum inside with gigantic Amethyst rocks and reproductions of giant dinosaurs. To the right of the store is a dig pit for kids to explore.

Rainforest Café

A gigantic Orlando tourist attractions volcano that roars overhead with lots of animatronic animals to view for free both inside and outside.

Get off the beaten track in Kissimmee, Florida

Ever wondered what’s in Kissimmee apart from Walt Disney World Resort? Turns out, there’s so much to do that you won’t even have to think about setting foot near the huge theme park but still have as much fun! Take a look at what we’d recommend and get booking your package holiday to Kissimmee today.

Gatorland

This family-run theme park was the first to be built in Kissimmee and has a unique twist that won’t be found anywhere else in the area, hundreds of alligators. When we say hundreds, we mean it…they are everywhere and love spending their days sunbathing so you’re guaranteed to come across some when you’re walking around the park.

Those looking for thrills should consider having a go on the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, it can reach speeds of up to 40mph and is the only zip line in America that has disabled access – it really is great fun for all. Be prepared as you hurl yourself across open water and zip over live alligators who love to come and watch.

There’s also Adventure Hour if you want to know what it’s like to look after alligators, not only will you be able to get close to the gators, you’ll also have the chance to hand feed (throw the food) to the gators and watch them chomp it down.

Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures

Always wanted to visit the Everglades National Park but not sure how? Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures is a great choice. Sat in the headwaters of the Everglades, this is a fantastic place to go and enjoy the quiet serenity that’s sometimes hard to find in Florida, as well as having the chance to try and spot some gators while aboard a huge airboat.

There’s no set route when you head out on the airboat and seeing gators isn’t guaranteed but it’s very likely, even if you just see a pair of eyes appear at the top of the water. The tranquillity and quietness of the place is enough to keep customers coming back time and time again on a trip to Kissimmee. The sunset rides are particularly beautiful with the sun reflecting off the headwaters of the Everglades but it’s worth noting that it’s much less likely to see a gator on these evening tours as it’s a bit colder and alligators love the sun and sunbathing so tend to hide away when the sun starts going down.

Once the ride is over, there’s a chance to visit a Native American workshop, which is hosted by a very informative Native American who gets you really involved in his stories. It’s fascinating to listen to and there are even some authentic Native treasures to take a look at.

Ghost Walk

If you want thrills without the rides, embark on one of Kissimmee’s fantastic ghost tours! You’ll meet in Kissimmee’s historic downtown district and embark on a chilling walk where you will hear tales of murder, mayhem and mystery. Be prepared as you may come across the headless horseman that enjoys returning to downtown Kissimmee regularly and rides through the area, or keep an eye out for the young girl who loves to play in the park on the swings.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it makes for a really fun night out with family or with a group of friends. It’s even encouraged that you take your camera with you to capture some paranormal shots along the way. If you want to learn about Kissimmee’s history with a fun twist, this is the tour for you.

Old Town Kissimmee

To carry on with the historic themes, head to Old Town Kissimmee, which is almost like taking a step back in time and boasts unique shops, restaurants, attractions and rides. Why not take a ride on the Ferris wheel there and take in the incredible sights of Kissimmee. For those looking for souvenirs to take home, Old Town Kissimmee is a great place for unique gifts such as NFL memorabilia, classic hot sauces and old heritage souvenirs.

If you head down to Old Town on a Friday, car lovers will rejoice as there is an incredible procession of vintage cars, from sports cars to trucks and more. You’ll have the chance to take a look at all the cars, as well a chat to the owners (if they are by their cars at the time) and eventually watch as they take a slow drive around Old Town – it’s a great way to spend a Friday. If you want to get your adrenaline pumping, head next door to Fun Spot for great rides and thrills that you can enjoy again and again.

Shopping in Orlando

Shopping in Orlando

The best shopping in Orlando can be found at malls and factory outlets such as Pointe Orlando, The Mall at the Millenia, Florida Mall, Orlando Premium and Lake Buena Vista factory stores. There is also a wide variety of retail options, including outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment hubs like Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, Universal CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort, and, ICON Orlando 360 on International Drive.

The Mall at Millenia – indoor shopping in Orlando

Considered one of the best luxury shopping in Orlando destinations, The Mall at Millenia is a great destination for a relaxing day out. It is an indoor shopping mall with, with over 150 of the finest stores, services and eateries, including 40 market exclusive stores  many of which are designer labels. The Mall at Millenia provides an unparalleled shopping experience with an array of luxury boutiques and in-demand brands, including: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari, Gucci, SAINT LAURENT, Tiffany & Co., Ted Baker London, Apple, Sephora, Abercrombie & Fitch, Under Armour, H&M, plus Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s department stores. World-class dining options include The Capital Grille, The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s, Brio Tuscan Grille and Earls Kitchen + Bar.
It also holds some great fashion events throughout the year – it throws its own Fashion Week in September, with events peppered with food, entertainment, and, of course, the latest looks! They also always have art installations throughout the building and special meet-and-greet opportunities around Easter and Christmas. Finally, the location offers some great amenities, such as currency exchange, a personal shopper, and a concierge service, if desired.

The Mall at Millenia is the perfect place for the ideal pampered shopping in Orlando experience.

The Mall at Millenia is open Monday – Saturday, 10 AM to 9 PM, and Sunday, 11 AM to 7 PM.

The Florida Mall – Indoor shopping in Orlando with family experiences.

Central Florida’s largest shopping in Orlando mall, The Florida Mall is home to over 250 stores – and with over 20 million visitors per year, it really is a spectacle to behold. Just recently, it opened a brand-new Dining Pavilion, featuring 22 eateries ranging from healthy to not-so-healthy cuisine. It also boasts a newly-opened 3,000-square-foot Play Park, which is perfect for little ones to entertain themselves while the older folks go shopping.

The Florida Mall has more to offer than shopping, though. The Crayola Experience is a one-of-a-kind attraction that combines color, chemistry, and digital technology to create an unforgettable experience for the whole family. M&M’s World has a location here, as well – one out of only five physical stores around the world. Finally, the American Girl Store is another unique experience that is only found in certain locations in the US; the store itself offers the Bistro, where children can eat with their dolls, as well as various events every week.

The Florida Mall is more than just a shopping destination – it’s a great time for the whole family.

The Florida Mall is Central Florida’s largest shopping center. Spanning 1.8 million square feet and welcoming more than 20 million visitors annually, this dynamic shopping destination offers an experiential environment featuring more than 250 retail, dining and entertainment options enjoyed by domestic and international guests, residents and families alike. Prominent department and anchor stores Macy’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods complement best of brand retailers like A/X Armani Exchange, Apple, Banana Republic, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Mayors Jewellers featuring Rolex, Victoria’s Secret and ZARA.

Exclusive to The Florida Mall, American Girl, Carlo’s Bakery, the Crayola Experience attraction, M&M’s World and The Disney Store distinguish the property as a must-visit family shopping destination.
The Florida Mall is open Monday – Friday, 10 AM to 9 PM, Saturday, 10 AM to 10 PM, and Sunday, 12 PM to 8 PM.

Orlando Premium Outlets – Outside shopping in Orlando

Conveniently located on either end of International Drive, the Orlando Premium Outlets are two incredible shopping in Orlando destinations: the Orlando International Premium Outlets are located at the northern end of I-Drive, near Universal Orlando Resort, and have 180 different stores to choose from; the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets are located at the southern end of the road, closer to the Walt Disney World Resort, and contain 160 stores. Both are incredibly easy to get to, as they are both on the I-Ride Trolley line, which is accessible from over 120 ideally-placed stops along International Drive and Universal Boulevard.

The Orlando Premium Outlets, while an open-air shopping location, do offer awnings and partially-covered walkways, to make shopping pleasant even in the afternoon rainstorms Orlando is known for. There are also air-conditioned and enclosed central dining locations at each outlet mall, which is a perfect midday rest point. The Orlando Premium Outlets offer discounts on designers – like Armani, Prada, and Kate Spade – as well as the Disney Character Warehouse, where merchandise from the Disney parks can be found at a markedly cheaper price.

Orlando International Premium Outlets is Florida’s largest outlet shopping destination Spanning over 773,586 square feet. The center welcomes more than 17MM visitors annually and is an iconic destination in the heart of Orlando’s booming hospitality industry. The center is conveniently located just minutes from Universal Orlando Resort and 10 miles from Walt Disney World Resort. Visitors will enjoy unparalleled shopping in more than 180 outlet designer and name-brand outlet stores including adidas, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, The North Face, Polo Ralph Lauren,  Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, St. John Outlet, Ted Baker London,  Forever 21, Kate spade New York, Nike, Steve Madden, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour, Victoria’s Secret (only outlet in market), Francesca’s Collections (first outlet location)  and Salvatore Ferragamo.  Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores boasts 50 of the world’s best-known and sought-after outlet stores, including several one-of-a-kind retailers that cannot be found anywhere else for shopping in Orlando.  This shopping gem is located just minutes from the entrance to Walt Disney World Resort and area theme parks and features spacious stores with an abundance of merchandise at incredible discounted prices. Shoppers love these outlets as they can park FREE every day, from open to close, directly in front of the stores.

DESIGNER OUTLET SHOPS:  Aeropostale, Avanti Sunglass Studio, Beyond Tech, Calvin Klein-men & women, Carter’s, Converse, Crocs, dressbarn (ROZ & ALI), Eddie Bauer Outlet, Express Factory Outlet, Fossil, Gap, G By Guess, Just Watches, Justice, Levi’s®, Loft, Nike Factory Store, OshKosh, Old Navy Outlet, Rack Room Shoes, Rawlings, Reebok, SAS Shoes, Samsonite Factory Store, Swimwear Outlet, Timberland Factory Store, Travelpro Luggage Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger – men, women & children, U.S. Polo. Under Armour, Van Heusen|Izod, Vitamin World, VF Outlet, Wilsons Leather.

SPECIALTY SHOPS:  Book Warehouse, BR Concept Brands, Fit N Shoes, leBlush Cosmetics, Perfume Outlet, Theme Park Outlet. Hours of Operation: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Disney Springs – Outdoor shopping in Orlando with family experiences.

The newest shopping in Orlando location, Disney Springs has, over the past two years, added 150 new tenants and doubled the location’s shopping space. Leaning in on the theme that the area is an old water-bottling plant that has been retrofitted into a shopping and entertainment district (like the High Line in New York City), Springs has a similar feel to the Grove or the Americana shopping districts out in Los Angeles, California. There is a great mix of food, stores, and entertainment throughout, from the AMC Dine-In movie theater to the Strolling Piano.

Not only does Disney Springs offer some great shopping – like Sephora, Free People, Under Armour, and UNIQLO – it also has unique Disney stores that can only be found in a place that has that Mouse magic. There are also activities for the whole family to do here: The Void is a new virtual-reality experience that immerses the guest in a 3D environment based off of one of Disney’s intellectual properties, and there is also great night-life for those of-age, like The Edison, a roaring-’20s, Steampunk-inspired nightclub/speakeasy with entertainment and great food and drink options to fill anybody’s night with unforgettable fun.

With free parking and hours that extend from 10:00 am to 2:00 am Thursday to Sunday (and to midnight on the other nights), Disney Springs is the perfect addition to any Orlando vacation.  Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-12 a.m.

International Drive

International Drive has undergone a revitalization effort these past few years, creating brand-new shopping and entertainment options that are perfect for the whole family. Near the Orange County Convention Center is Pointe Orlando, a great place for a night (or day) of fun. Home to the Regal Pointe Orlando movie theater, and other entertainment options like Hard Knocks Laser Tag, Improv Comedy Club, Main Event Entertainment, and Monkey Joe’s (for the little ones), the location is a great destination to unwind at after a busy day. It also has some great shops like Charming Charlie, Tommy Hilfiger, and Hollister – and this doesn’t even begin to mention the plethora of great dining options they have available, from fast-casual to upscale. With new experiences still to come in 2019, Pointe Orlando is a great place to spend some time on your Orlando vacation.

Additionally, Icon Orlando 360 is a newer shopping in Orlando and entertainment district that opened in 2015 and was rebranded with its current name just last year. Home to the massive Icon Orlando Ferris wheel, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and Sea Life Aquarium, there is fun for everybody here. Along with 15 great dining options (with three more expected to open in 2020 – including Blake Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant), there are fantastic shops, such as Tervis, able to fulfil any souvenir needs.

Pointe Orlando

Shopping till you drop is easy at Pointe Orlando thanks to more than a dozen specialty retailers. Choose from well-known national and international names like Tommy Hilfiger, Hollister and Victoria’s Secret, or get eclectic with choices like the celebrity-inspired collections at Filthy Rich or diecast cars at 1 for the Road.